[Ads-l] on the fritz, on the friz

Mark Mandel markamandel at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 9 13:48:52 EDT 2021

The 1904 example could be related to the use of "cooler" for "prison". *Green's
Dictionary of Slang:*

6. a prison; police cells .
7. a punishment or solitary confinement cell.


Mark Mandel

On Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 10:12 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> __________
> From: American Dialect Society …Stephen Goranson …
> Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014…
> Subject: [ADS-L] on the fritz–on the friz
> Previous suggested explanations of “on the fritz,” including one by me,
> are unpersuasive.
> Here is a new suggestion–at least I have not encountered it; please
> correct me if it has been offered before. If there’s interest, I may write
> a longer version with more quotations or references.
> “On the fritz” (and “on de fritz”) has also been written “on the friz.”
> Consider friz as related to freeze and frozen. The association obtains,
> whether analyzed as irregular irregular verb forms and/or via J. O.
> Hallowell’s listing “Friz–frozen” as attested in various dialects (1887 v.1
> p.382 “All friz out, can’t get no groundsel”).
> Fritz, friz, frozen up, stopped, and the like.
> *... 1904 Life in Sing Sing. “Fritzer. Not good.”*

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